How potato cooking methods affect your blood pressure

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Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the way potatoes are cooked plays a significant role in their impact on blood pressure.

This new study suggests that while eating potatoes themselves may not be directly harmful, the method of preparation can make a big difference.

Previous studies have noted links between higher potato consumption and increased blood pressure, as well as obesity risks.

However, these studies often didn’t consider how the potatoes were prepared, the overall diet of the participants, or the nutritional quality of their meals. These factors can influence how potatoes affect blood pressure and body weight.

In this study, researchers looked at the potato consumption habits of 2,696 people aged 40-59 from the US and UK. The data came from the International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP).

The team analyzed not just the amount and type of potato consumed, but also how the potatoes were cooked, the participants’ overall dietary patterns, and the nutritional quality of their meals.

The findings were quite specific. The researchers found no link between total potato intake and blood pressure or body mass index (BMI) when it came to boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes, or potato-based mixed dishes. However, the story changed when it came to fried potatoes.

In particular, among US women, eating more fried potatoes was associated with a 2.29 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and a 1.14 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).

This was true even after accounting for BMI, meaning the effect was independent of body weight. Furthermore, a higher intake of fried potatoes was directly linked to an increase in BMI in these women. These associations were not observed in men.

Interestingly, the quality of the overall diet played a role too. Higher consumption of fried potato meals with poor nutritional quality was linked to higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure in US women.

Conversely, fried potato meals with better nutritional quality did not show this association.

These results suggest that while non-fried potatoes do not seem to have a significant impact on blood pressure or BMI, fried potatoes do, especially in women. Additionally, consuming meals of low nutritional quality that include fried potatoes can further increase blood pressure.

If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, these findings highlight the importance of considering not just what you eat, but how it is prepared and the overall quality of your diet.

For more information on managing blood pressure, you might want to read studies about how certain common juices can help reduce high blood pressure, or recent advice on treating high blood pressure.

For those looking to delve deeper, the study conducted by Ghadeer S. Aljuraiban et al. is published in Clinical Nutrition.

This research adds to our understanding of dietary impacts on health, particularly emphasizing that cooking methods and overall meal quality are crucial in managing blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about why vitamin K is so important for older people, and this snack food may harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about vitamin that may protect you from type 2 diabetes, and results showing this common chemical in food may harm your blood pressure.

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